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Enforcement at Federal Facilities

Federal agencies and their facilities must comply with environmental laws and requirements in the same manner and to the same extent as any other regulated facility.

Federal facilities include lands and improvements to lands (buildings, structures, and equipment) owned by, constructed or manufactured for the purpose of leasing to, the federal government. (See the definition of all types of federal facilities.)

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Environmental Laws & Federal Facilities

EPA has explicit authority to enforce the law and assess fines at federal facilities violating environmental statutes including the:

Federal facilities must also clean up environmental contamination at their facilities, and federal facilities that are significantly contaminated may be listed on the National Priorities List (NPL). Cleanup is required by presidential Executive Orders, and the environmental statutes listed below, which also give EPA authority to enforce these requirements:

Find a federal facilities’ compliance history with the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and hazardous waste laws. Search ECHO (Enforcement and Compliance History Online)

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Federal Facility Enforcement and Compliance Resources:

  • EPA’s Guide to Enforcement and Compliance at Federal Facilities explains the federal government’s responsibilities under the environmental statutes, and the enforcement and compliance process used by EPA at federal facilities (Formerly known as The Yellow Book: Guide to Environment and Compliance at Federal Facilities”
  • FedCenter, is an inter-agency environmental stewardship and compliance assistance center for federal facilities.  

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Federal Facility Enforcement Policy and Guidance

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Federal Facility Cleanup & Waste Information

  • EPA Revises Policy to Help Redevelopment at Federal Facility Superfund Sites

    • As part of the U.S.  EPA’s July 25, 2017, Superfund Task Force Report Recommendation 30, on May 17, 2019, EPA revised its 1997 “Policy Towards Landowners and Transferees of Federal Facilities.” Recommendation 30 directed the revision as part of the Report’s Goal 3, “Encouraging Private Investment.” The revised policy is intended to encourage reuse and redevelopment of federal property. EPA developed the policy in coordination with two state organizations, ECOS and ASTSWMO, and other federal agencies. 
  • Recommendation 30 Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) Amendment to Place FFAs on Hold - Options 1 and 2

  • EPA issues Principles for Reinforcing Federal Facility Agreement Informal and Formal Dispute Timelines

    • The pace of cleanup at federal facility Superfund sites can be delayed when Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) parties continue disputes beyond the agreed-upon dispute resolution timelines specified in negotiated FFAs. However, because disagreements and disputes are fact-specific, a fluid rather than a one-size-fits-all process may at times be necessary. This September 2018, memorandum sets out principles clarifying and reinforcing the importance of adhering to agreed-upon FFA informal and formal dispute timelines. These principles support Recommendation 18 of the Administrator's Superfund Task Force Recommendations report, released on July 25, 2017.​

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